Hanbok is a Korean traditional dress characterized by vibrant colors and simple lines without pockets. It usually refers specifically to clothing of the Joseon period and is worn as semi-formal or formal wear during traditional festivals and celebrations of the Koreans. If you’re a Korean drama addict (like me) you can usually spot these colorful dresses in Saeguk Dramas (historical period dramas). So if you want to be Jang Geum (Jewel in the Palace) or Queen Seon Deuk for a day, you should try wearing one.
A visit to South Korea is incomplete without trying to wear their traditional dress. I must say it is a must experience wearing one while visiting the country and make your trip memorable and if I may say “instagramable”.
There are ways to wear and experience Hanbok in Seoul with corresponding rental fees by shops. But did you know you can also wear these pretty and colorful traditional Korean dresses for free? Read on to know where you can rent and wear Hanboks while visiting Seoul.
- GRAND PALACE TOUR
Discover history and beauty of the Joseon Dynasty by taking a tour to the different palaces. There are five (5) palaces to be exact found in Seoul. They are the Gyeongbukgong, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung and Gyeonghuigung. And while wandering the grand palaces, wear Hanbok and experience as a court lady, a princess or as a Queen Dowager. Rent a Hanbok for 6 hours for KRW15,000 and get a free admission to any of the palaces.
TIPS: You may also opt to try the traditional palace guard’s outfit for free at Gyeongbukgong Palace.
- WALK AROUND BUKCHON HANOK VILLAGE IN HANBOK
The Bukchon Hanok Village is home to hundreds of traditional Korean houses called hanok that date back to Joseon Dynasty. Rent a Hanbok and roam around the hanoks like a true Korean Villager. Rental fees ranges from KRW10,000 to KRW15,000 for 2-4 hours. Choose from traditional to modern style hanboks and a choice of accessories to accessorize your dress and look more stunning for a photo op.
- FREE HANBOK EXPERIENCE IN MYEONGDONG
You can experience wearing Hanbok for free and where to avail this? Head to Seoul Global Cultural Center at M Plaza and wear free Hanboks for a few minutes. Take photos wearing your choice of Hanbok with accessories. Check the details here:
- Address: 5F, M Plaza, 27, Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
- Myeongdong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 6. Walk approx. 4min.
- Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 6. Walk approx. 7min.
- Operating hours (Hanbok experience): Monday-Thursday 10:00-16:00 (Last admission at 15:30)
Important: Hanbok experience available in first-come, first-served basis and will close when all time-slots are filled. Rental time is limited to 10 minutes only.
- Inquiries: +82-2-3789-7961~3 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese); seoulculturalcenter.com
- WEAR FREE HANBOK AT DEOKSUGUNG PALACE
At Deoksugung palace, there is a traditional changing of the guard’s ceremony every day of the week excluding Mondays. Visitors can stop by the Hanbok rental booth in front of the palace main gate. Try on traditional guard uniforms and other hanboks for free. The Hanbok rental is first-come-first-served basis with 10-minutes hanbok experience. Details here:
- Address: 99, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul.
- Directions: City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2) Exit 2, walk approx. 2minutes.
- Opening time: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:30-11:30, 13:30-14:30, 15:00-16:00 first-come, first-served basis. Experience limited to 10minutes only.
Important: Not available in case of heavy rain or snow or during periods of extreme cold.
- HANBOK PHOTOSHOOT AT A STUDIO
If you feel like it is too hassle to walk around in Hanbok, take photos wearing your Hanbok indoors. There are a lot of photo studios around Seoul where you can also rent a hanbok and other props to make your photo more realistic. If you are traveling with your family, it is a great souvenir from your trip to have a family picture where all of you are wearing hanboks.
Planning a trip to South Korea soon? Experience a true K-drama feels while wearing Hanbok around Seoul. It’s definitely a memorable experience. Take photos and make you Instagram posts more IG-worthy.